April 15, 2016
What a milestone! We salute the 125th anniversary of Fiesta,
and we’re ready to celebrate! Are you?
San Antonio’s Fiesta is an explosion of sights, sounds, smells, flavors, laughter, thrills and memories. Don’t let a mishap or brain lapse ruin your celebration. Here are some valuable survival and safety tips. Read and heed!
Transportation: If at all possible, take advantage of the city’s Park & Ride options.
It is inexpensive, and you don’t have to worry about finding a place to park. But it you must drive yourself, check out the city’s web site for downtown parking lots before you leave home, print out a copy to take with you and be prepared to hunt! http://www.sanantonio.gov/ccdo/parking/parkingmap.aspx
Tickets: Many of San Antonio’s Fiesta events are free, but others require a ticket for entry. Buy your tickets in advance if at all possible to avoid standing in a long line (which you will do repeatedly during Fiesta events).
For an event listing and ticket information, check out http://www.fiesta-sa.org/
Dress: April can be pretty warm so dress in cool, loose fitting casual clothes. Dress for comfort, not for style. You might tuck a raincoat (small,
poncho type) into your pocket just in case a shower pops up.
Sunscreen and hats: So you won’t fry in our South Texas heat, bring along a floppy hat and by all means use sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone use sunscreen that offers a broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays), sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher and is water resistance.
Shoes: The best bet is to wear sneakers or any other closed toed shoe. And don’t wear your new $120 pair of shoe because they will never be the same if you do. It also is highly advisable to forego flip flops and sandals.
Drink plenty of water: Stay hydrated! Enough said. And that does not mean drinking a lot of beer, wine or margaritas!
Alcohol: Many Fiesta events feature alcohol, so bringing a designated driver in your group is highly recommended. The Texas drinking age is 21 and it IS enforced. The San Antonio Police Department is on high alert during Fiesta to minimize tragedies from drunken driving.
Purses: It is best to leave your purse at home if you can manage without it. Either use a fanny pack or your pockets. If you use your pockets, wrap a large rubber band around your money and driver’s license to reduce the risk of them slipping out. You definitely should leave your expensive jewelry at home.
Cash: You might as well limit the number of credit cards and debit cards you bring because many vendors and events take cash only. Plus, finding an ATM is not a sure thing at Fiesta events. So don’t forget your green backs!
Children: Large crowds at Fiesta events are a given, and you should be mindful of the safety of your children and their friends. Before you leave home, its a great idea make sure you have a photo of each child coming with you to the event should you need to seek help in locating a missing child. Also write your cell phone number on the arm or hand of each child should you get separated. Keep them as close as possible and communicate with them the importance of staying by your side at all times. Make sure they know your destination and that you have designated a meeting point using a landmark if you should get separated. Instruct your children that should they become lost to find the nearest policeman and ask for help.
Strollers: Any event can be very crowded and a stroller may not be an option. Its best to either walk with your child hand-in-hand or carry them. Not all Fiesta events are family oriented, for a list of family friendly events check out Alamo City Moms Blog list of events.
Pets: Many events do not allow pets (with the exception of guide dogs) so investigate the issue before leaving home.
Towelettes: Bring disposable pre-moistened towelettes. Hand washing opportunities are few and far between, and in the heat your hands get sweaty and that icky grimy feeling. You’ll feel better using them, and they sure come in handy before eating!
Parades: We recommend purchasing tickets for the parades, but there are areas for view these parades that do not require a ticket. If you opt to view the parade from these areas, claim you seat early! If you have tickets, give yourself enough time to find parking and your seats. Parking can be difficult and the walk to your seats can be long. Bring plenty of water to help you and your family stay hydrated and snacks because you kiddos will get hungry. Emphasize with your children to stay out of the street even though it is very tempting to get close to floats and bands.
Carnivals: Be a cautious consumer and use the same judgment when picking rides as you would selecting toys or food for your children. It is wise to watch a ride before boarding and read the warning signs out loud, explain to children the motion and how the ride works. Height, age and weight restrictions are posted for a purpose: to keep all riderssafe! Follow any special instructions about seating order or loading, and always use the safety equipment provided, but be aware of its limitations. Keep your children at your side at all times and don’t allow a child to go buy a treat or go to the bathroom alone.
We all love Fiesta, and our wish is for you to celebrate safely!